To recover damages from a truck accident that causes injuries, you’ll have to prove that the tractor-trailer driver was acting negligently. This may sound overwhelming so let Julie Johnson break it down into its component parts for you.
Types of Negligence
Impairment—either from prescriptions drugs, over-the-counter drugs, alcohol, or another illicit substance—are all examples of negligence.
But an act of negligence is not limited to impairment alone; rather, the following listed below types of truck driver negligence that could lead to an accident.
- Going over hours of service requirement
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving distracted
- Driving aggressively
If any of the above acts occurred—or anything else that was clearly an unsafe or unreasonable maneuver or behavior—then the truck driver was acting negligently.
Evidence Necessary to Prove Negligence
The type of proof that you need will vary depending upon the act of negligence that you’re trying to prove. For example, if you believe that the truck driver was acting negligently because he or she was impaired at the time of the collision, then evidence of a blood alcohol content (BAC) or drug test will likely be necessary.
If no tests are available, a police report or police officer testimony detailing that the officer believed the driver to be impaired can be vital. Another type of evidence that can be used to prove impairment are the statements of any witnesses who may have seen the have a drink before driving, take an illicit substance, etc.
For other types of negligence, accident reports, witness testimony, and physical evidence can all be key. The data that’s recorded by a truck’s electronic control module (ECM) as well as a truck driver’s record of duty status may also be admissible and helpful as evidence.
Who is liable: the truck driver or the trucking company?
If you can prove the negligence of the 18-wheeler driver, then you may automatically assume that it is the truck driver who will be held liable for damages. However, if the semi-truck driver is an employee of the trucking company, or if the trucking company did anything to contribute to negligence—like requesting a driver to drive more than hours of service regulations permit—then the trucking company may be held liable instead of, or in addition to, the driver.
Take Legal Action Now
To start proving negligence, you’ll need to act quickly gathering the evidence necessary to support your claim. For legal assistance in doing so, call the attorneys at the Law Office of Julie Johnson PLLC. Our personal injury and truck accident attorneys are ready to take on your case! Call us now at 214-290-8001.